Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
– Dale Carnegie –
It’s no use worrying about something unless you are taking some sort of action to solve the problem, and that is so very true of being prepared. There’s always something to worry about and storm clouds abound, literally and figuratively, so what have you done to prepare?
Last month readers submitted their own lists of the 3 most important things they have done to be better prepared. Three of those lists were chosen at random to win prizes, but each and every person is a winner in the game of survival, simply by taking action so they and their loved ones are prepared.
Here are just a few of the entries. I hope they inspire you and give you fresh ideas!
“My husband and I are unable to just go out and purchase large amounts of food at a time for our storage, I mean even $10-$15 too much on groceries or gas can throw us in to a snowball in the bank account. So in order to help us in whatever way we can, I do whatever I can to learn a new skill and perfect it then move on, so I’ve learned to Garden (in a confined area like my porch & back yard), can that food and put it up, I’m now working on making doughs and breads from scratch. This has been challenging because for some reason it seems to be my Achilles heel, & due to our financial situation we put up water recycling plastic bottles 2 liter bottles getting them from wherever I can my friends, my mom etc. There’s no shame in asking for things that can be reused in a survival scenario. The only shame would be to say we don’t have the money and to do nothing at all should there be an event that would require it.”
“1) Learned to Garden. My gardening experience was at zero 3 years ago. This year I had more fresh produce that I knew what to do with, despite the drought my area suffered. 2) Purchased a Big Berkey system to go along with my water storage system, as well as everyday use. 3) Put together 72-hour kits for each vehicle. This was a HUGE priority to me due to being the caretaker of my family of 5 as well as the extremely varied weather conditions in my area.”
“1. Water- my partner and I tend to drink a lot of gallon iced tea. I save every one and wash it out then fill it with water. We store them in our spare closet as an emergency supply so that we will have a water source in case anything happens. 2. Self sufficiency books- I have started a collection of self sufficiency books, everything from knitting to herbal medicine. In the chance that something long term were to occur they could be very useful to learn skills that will aid in ones survival during long term emergency situations. 3. Staying physically fit- We have both quit smoking and have a regular exercise routines to help us stay in good physical shape. We also make it a practice to go on long walks with backups filled with common household items in preparation of an emergency situation that would require us to leave home on foot.”
“The most important things I’ve done towards prepping are: 1 Organizing a rain water collection system, 2 Getting one of my daughters interested in prepping. Although Im helping her financially, at least shes on board and I no longer need to store as much stuff for her and her family. 3 Getting her kids, age 6 and 4, interested in gardening. Next year they want a plot of their own to grow stuff instead of just helping me and are going to have their own wormery.”
“1. My wife and I joined the city CERT group several years ago and using our ham radio licenses and equipment are part of a team that will be the eyes and ears of the cities Emergency Operations Center when other means of communications are out. 2. We have one each 5000 watt and 1000 watt generators along with sufficient fuel to keep them running part of each day for several weeks, that will keep our refrigerator and freezer cold enough to preserve our perishable food supply. We also keep our pantry full. 3. We have a 30′ class C motorhome which we travel in for extended periods. Our last trip was 82 days and 10,000 miles. We keep it stocked with non-perishable food, 55 gallons of fuel and 40 gallons of water. It is also our ham radio communications station and can be operated in support of our CERT program.”
“Pay down debt, networking with like minded people, growing and canning food.”
“1. Hardened my house with security doors and inside burglar bars. 2. Bought a gun and took NRA shooting lessons. 3. Took classes on canning, simple home repairs, and making herbal medicines.”
“1) We uprooted and moved to a safer location. We were a couple blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and we made a move to an area that is safer and has water on property. It was hard to leave family and friends but we knew we needed to be as safe and self-sustainable as we could so we made the move. Best decision! 2) Educating ourselves. My husband and I now are constantly reading books and blogs (like yours! love!) and learning so much daily. 3) Learned to Can and Continue our Food Storage (and of course water storage too!)”
“1)Have own garden/green house and chickens, pigs, 2) have wood cook stove and working on the final stages of off the gird electricity3)Tried to make our family unit stronger so that we are better equipped to handle the situation at hand.”
“1. Learn the true meaning of improvise, adapt, and overcome. 2. Store water, water, water, and water. Water trumps food, and food trumps cool backpacks full of junk that you have no idea how to use. 3. Learn a new skill every month, and put it into everyday use. Prepping is not about the what-if’s, it is a lifestyle.”
“The first thing I’ve done to prepare my family for disaster is assemble an ICE box (In Case of Emergency box). It has the basic survival essentials, plus many things needed for a long-term crisis, such as fishing kit, water purification, etc. The second thing I’ve done is research substantially on the subject. I’ve heard it said you can have all the best gear in the world, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to do with it. My last preparation item for this list is spreading the word. It may not seem like much, but the more I discuss disaster scenarios with my family (no matter how paranoid it may make me seem!), the more likely they’ll remember when it matters. So, in conclusion, my three important things I’ve done to compare is: assemble gear, attain knowledge, and build a support system.”
“1. Expanded my garden to include fruit and nuts & began canning. 2. Spoke with my neighbors and we have a plan to help each other out, including a plan to stay, relocate locally for temporary purposes, as well as a long-term bug out. 3) Took a few NRA classes and learned how to shoot a rifle, shotgun, and handgun & practice at the range.”
“1. Realized that being prepared doesn’t mean being negative. 2. Not only slowly bought the food, but continued to inventory it, making sure that things about to expire soon were either used up or sent to charity. 3. Prepped for the pets as well as the humans.”
“1. Most importantly, I became aware of the NEED to be prepared after a week long power outage showed us how woefully unprepared we were! 2. Began our supplies of food storage – we are currently OK for 3 months. 3. Began learning the skills necessary to produce and store food when storage supplies are gone – gardening, canning, fermenting, and dehydrating so far.”
“1. Strengthened my marriage. It is the foundation of our family. 2. Got out of debt. It freed the resources for everything else. 3. Got in shape. I don’t know what the SHTF may look like, but I know this is the body I’m taking in to it.”
“1. Prayed for guidance 2. Convinced my husband to join the preparedness/self-reliance movement 3. Researching and stocking up essential elements of our daily survival, including food, water, hygiene products, etc.”
“Set up a 3 day pack for each of us, updated our first aid kit, printed out important docs and laminated them for each of us.”
“1. We’ve worked hard to stock up a year’s worth of food, including prepackaged dehydrated or freeze-dried food, plus bagging up beans, rice, and pasta in mylar bags ourselves; 2. We’ve diversified our wealth, to include tangibles like food and homegoods, as well as precious metals, and of course cash; and 3. We’re constantly amassing as much information as possible that would be helpful in a down-grid situation. (You should see my survival notebooks!)”
“1. Read, knowledge is power, learn all you can about various topics (purifying water, foraging, preserving foods, etc.) 2. Do, put your knowledge to use, it’s all well and good to know the theory of using a bow drill to make fire but can you actually do it when your life depends on it? Practice your skills. 3. Plan for alternatives. Plan A didn’t work out? What’s plan B…and C…and D? What if the gear you were relying on to get you through (food, water, shelter) were destroyed in flood, fire or other disaster? Do your plans fall apart or can you adapt them?”
“1. To pray that I remain calm, confident, and focused even in the face of everything happening in our country and the world. 2. I have spent a great deal of time trying to think through every scenario and to plan thoroughly for them. 3. I have stored (and continue to store) as much water and food as I possibly can to see us through to the other side of a disaster.”
“Purchased my first conceal carry weapon, a raspberry pink Taurus .380, traded a snowplow (we have another one) for a travel trailer, (another place to live that can be moved if necassary), walking 2 miles a day.”
“1. Took an Edible Plants of Louisiana class (which included a book and recipes!) 2. Inspired a couple of friends/family to consider preparedness actions 3. Made plans to help my neighbors (though they don’t know it): extra seeds, water collection (blow up swimming pools!), plans to protect our street.”
“Learned to use a firearm safely and with confidence, converted my husband into a prepper and lost 15 lbs. in order to be healthier for when and if hard times come.”
“1. I took control of my finances: built a small emergency fund, paid off debt, purchased adequate insurance. 2. Married a like-minded person! He hadn’t thought about preparedness, but he is open-minded, and enthusiastic now. 3. Cultivated hobbies of self-sufficiency: baking my own bread, gardening, brewing kombucha… the sky’s the limit when it comes to what I can learn (and have fun doing it!). ”
“1) Keep a pantry–it’s not as deep as I want, but we don’t have to order takeout anymore 2) Read–news, how-tos, pioneer stories–there’s a lot of free information out there 3) Keep my eyes open–in all circumstances, making myself and my babies a less likely target.”
“quit smoking!! (member me? 102 days without a cigarette so far! :)))))), started excersizing and stopped drinking soda/caffeine, and began prepping in 2008!!! best things I have EVER done outside of having my daughter, lol 🙂 Thank you SM! I’m so grateful for your blog! xoxo”
“1. Learn – Learn to garden, learn to can, learn to wash clothes outside, learn to mend,learn to build, learn to learn. 2. Pay attention – to your surroundings, to world events , to loval events, to each other. 3. Don’t waste – things serve a purpose but usually they can serve multiple purposes – use them for things they weren’t intended for. Peel labels off glass jars and re-use. Re-use old clothes to stuff pillow, make quilts, make new clothes, re-use leftovers for another meal, don’t throw anything away that isn’t truly trash!”
I have to stop myself here! Wish there was space for ALL the great lists!